As part of Latin Grammys week, Billboard brought together Latin music industry leaders for an exclusive Thought-Leadership breakfast at the Four Seasons hotel on Nov. 21, presented by Samsung Galaxy.
Arriving promptly at 9:30 a.m., despite a slew of parties the night before, the group of nearly 20 -- including Jorge Ferradas of Live Nation (who works with Shakira for the Latin marketplace), Romeo Santos manager Johnny Marines and Sony Music U.S. Latin MD Nir Seroussi embarked immediately on a lively discussion led by Billboard’s Leila Cobo on the parallels and differences between the U.S. Latin and Latin American markets and the growing clout and importance of social media for everything from selling concert tickets to landing lucrative sponsorships to collecting income.
However, the continued importance of traditional radio and television were also emphasized. Producer Sergio George, who later that evening would win three Latin Grammys, spoke about the importance of A&R and television to drive his most recent project, Salsa Giants, while urban star Yandel, on the heels of the debut of his first solo album at No. 1 (following a No. 1 hit on Hot Latin Songs) stopped by. SBS Entertainment SVP Lucas Piña and touring VP Angelo Schipilliti sparked debate with comments on the changing role of media companies in both concert and music promotion as did Jorge Mondragón, manager of Mexican rock band Café Tacuba, who announced he is taking a hiatus from the music business but at the same time heralded the arrival of “different screens” that will dictate new trends.
Attendees were riveted by Samsung Galaxy’s new Note III phone, which in turn also sparked discussion on the huge growth of smartphones and music services throughout Latin America and their role in talent development. Just how riveted? Later that night, backstage at the Latin Grammys, Mayna Nevarez, CEO of Nevarez Communications, was shooting video with her new Samsung Galaxy Gear Watch. “It was the evening’s conversation piece,” she said.